Manweller supports clarifying language on ‘widow tax’ exemption passed by House

The Washington State House of Representatives passed a measure today that would clarify the application of the real estate excise tax (REET) to property inherited, also known as the “widow tax” in Grant County.

Rep. Matt Manweller, a co-sponsor of the bill, says the bill was needed to provide some clarification language on how the REET exemption is being applied by local governments.
“Grant County is one of a few counties imposing a REET when property is inherited without certain documentation, such as a probated will. An heir or surviving spouse in Grant County is being required to pay the REET when attempting to transfer title or inherited property,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “The real estate excise tax should only apply when property is sold and there is a financial transaction for the purchase or sale of real estate. This legislation would clarify the exemption for the REET respecting inherited property; it isn’t expanding any exemption, only providing some clarification of the law exempting payment of the REET upon transfer of real estate being inherited by a spouse or the heir.”

House Bill 2539 passed the House 98-0. It is now headed to the Senate for consideration.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn the regular session on March 10.

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